Maryland has among toughest gun laws in nation following passage of bill this year


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg waits next to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to speak at a gun violence summit at in Baltimore in January. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
December 9, 2013

After the legislature’s passage this year of a sweeping gun-control measure, Maryland now has the fourth-toughest firearms laws in the nation, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Maryland received an A- on the advocacy group’s 2013 annual scorecard and ranked behind only California, Connecticut and New Jersey.

In the wake of last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) proposed a package of measures that included bans on certain assault-style weapons and tough new licensing requirements for handgun buyers.

Vincent DeMarco, president of Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence, said the most effective of those was a provision requiring fingerprinting of gun buyers, which he called “one of the best tools a state can use to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.”

Opponents argued that the measures, which the legislature passed largely intact, infringed upon 2nd Amendment rights.

The Brady Center noted that seven of the 10 states with the strongest gun laws are also among the 10 with the lowest rates of gun deaths. Maryland is not among those seven.

The Brady Center scorecard was produced in conjunction with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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